A little before her first birthday, Lucy weaned and started sleeping through the night. Aside from a couple of setbacks from illness and teething, both girls now sleep until about 9:00. For a while, I slept until they woke up out of habit, but then I realized I could finally consistently get some quiet alone time in the morning. I also felt a little guilty about sleeping in so late after getting a full night’s rest! Even if I am up and about before they are awake, it is still my favorite daily habit to have a slow morning, where we cuddle in my bed while they drink their milk. For about fifteen minutes, we tickle and giggle and sing and snuggle. We’re still in our jammies and just finishing up breakfast by 10:00. Annie just turned three and she feels like such a kid already; her baby and toddler phase is quickly fading. She will be in school all day in a short eighteen months. I can’t believe that. Just thinking of that milestone is enough to erase all guilt I may feel of these slow mornings. Staying at home with a three year old and a fourteen month old can be exhausting and wearing, and it drains my patience some days. But I couldn’t be more thankful that I get to stop and just snuggle these girls whenever I want.
Because I stay at home with my girls, for a long time, I felt a certain pressure to have a perfectly clean house and planned meals and a generally cheery disposition. For a few months, when I just had Annie, I think I actually accomplished this for the most part. When Lucy was born, and she needed to be on my person for her first six months, didn’t sleep through the night for nine months, and nursed all the time, that changed. I was in survival mode, consistently running on 5-6 hours of interrupted sleep. I was always behind on piles of laundry. I fought desperately to keep my kitchen sink clear of dishes. True romance became Adam texting, “I can eat a sandwich for dinner tonight.” My one saving grace was that Annie, my champion sleeper and therefore my favorite child (kidding, a little), slept 12 straight hours, until 10:00. So once I got Lucy back to sleep after her 7:00 AM feeding and waking 4-5 times during the night, I could crawl back into bed and grab a couple more hours of sleep. Lu would sleep for a good stretch, I would get a nap and feel more ready to take on the day when they both woke up.